5 Facts About Alan Ritchson, Catching Fire’s Career Tribute Gloss

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5 Facts About Alan Ritchson  Catching Fire s Career Tribute Gloss alan ritchson gloss catching fire jpgWow, what a week this has been for Catching Fire casting! The movie begins shooting in September, so Lionsgate is dumping a bunch of announcements on us. So far we’ve met the actors playing the fanged Enobaria, hulking Brutus, and now pretty-boy Gloss. Alan Ritchson will portray Gloss, one half of the brother-sister duo from District 1 who are called back for a second Hunger Games in the Quarter Quell. Right after the official announcement came through, Alan took to Twitter to express his excitement:

No words can express…To have the opportunity to portray Gloss in @TheHungerGames. To be a part of this great trilogy…just…so grateful.

Aww! But I can’t be the only one who didn’t actually know who Alan was. So, after some digging, here are the five things you should know about him.

1. Chances are your first introductions to Alan were for his body. In 2004, he was a contestant on American Idol and is remembered for wooing Paula Abdul with an alleged striptease, but it was his work as an Abercrombie & Fitch model (circa 2008) that got him a lot of exposure. He’s since appeared in movies like Fired Up! and had guest spots on CSI: Miami and 90210 (as Teddy’s love interest for one episode); he starred in the short-lived series Blue Mountain State.

Here’s his American Idol audition where he definitely charms Paula, though his clothes stay on:

2. Catching Fire won’t be his first genre work: At the time that he played Aquaman partway through Smallville‘s run, he was the first actor to play the superhero in an officially-licensed, live-action production.

3. You might not assume it looking at this muscled hunk, but he’s also a singer-songwriter. And it turns out he writes most of his songs while driving.

4. The 27-year-old didn’t actually touch alcohol until he was 21, and even then instead of playing Edward Forty-Hands, he just had a glass of wine with his parents.

5. Alan sounds pretty savvy and like he has a good sense of humor. When he first got the part of the overzealous football team captain on Blue Mountain State in 2010, he told Zap2it that he based the role on jocks in his high school: “He was the people that I grew up around — all the douchebags in school that would pick on people.” Plus, he describes himself on his Twitter profile as “super duper famous waiter.” I like how he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

Check out our guide to who’s left to get cast and the folks we hope get these parts. Expect tons more roles to be announced very soon, which means we’re only a handful of weeks away from finding our Finnick Odair…!

Photo: Nikki Nelson/WENN.com